Freshfields raids A&O for Middle East star

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has scooped Pervez Akhtar from magic circle rival Allen & Overy, making him its new Middle East corporate head .

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has scooped corporate rainmaker Pervez Akhtar from magic circle rival Allen & Overy, making him its new Middle East corporate head .

Akhtar rejoined A&O last year (20 March 2009) following a brief spell as an executive director with Middle East private equity house Abraaj Capital. He had previously been head of Middle East corporate at the firm.

Freshfields global corporate head Edward Braham said of Akhtar: “He is one of a select group of senior international lawyers who have spent considerable time in the United Arab Emirates working on complex deals. His appointment demonstrates our long term commitment to the MENA region.”

Following the hire, Freshfields will have a five-partner strong presence in Dubai, with Akhtar leading a corporate practice that currently features Bertrand Pellet and Patrick Ko.

Pellett is one of two corporate partners, along with Tobias Müller-Deku in Riyadh, to have relocated to the Middle East in the past 12 months as Freshfields continues to bulk up in the region.

Managing partner Ted Burke added: “Our Middle East practice is very important to us and Pervez is a great fit. We’re very happy that he’s joining us.”

A spokesperson for A&O said: “Pervez Akhtar has decided to leave Allen & Overy. We would like to thank him for the contribution he has made during his time at Allen & Overy and wish him all the best for the future.”